Document Type

Graduate Project

Date of Degree Completion

Summer 2005

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



Committee Chair

Lee A. Plourde

Second Committee Member

Don B. Woodcock

Third Committee Member

Osman Alawiye


The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine characteristics of academically successful Hispanic students. Rather than ask ourselves why so many Hispanic students are failing, this study takes a more positive approach to this subject. Despite repeated failures and early academic difficulties, some Hispanic students continue to fight through the adversity. Some children have a positive attitude toward school although there are monumental barriers for these at-risk children. This study asks, "What piece of the puzzle do these students possess that the others do not?" In essence, this is an "asset-oriented" approach rather than a deficit-assessment approach. The purpose was to explore and examine personal character traits of the high achieving Hispanic students. It also explores external factors, such as support systems for these students, as well as intrinsic motivators. One interesting theory is that of resiliency. Many successful at-risk students have a support system which fosters resiliency and helps them to succeed. There is a great deal of valuable information shared from these highly successful Hispanic students.